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Sunday, May 05, 2019

Review: INVASION 1984!

Although I was reading Battle comic in 1983 it was mainly for Charley's War, which I'd cut out of the comic to save, and discard the rest. I don't think I ever read Invasion 1984 which appeared in its pages then, or maybe I just skimmed through it. Either way, I remembered nothing about it. A pity, because revisiting it now I find it's a cracking story!

Rebellion have collected the whole Invasion 1984 serial into one book as part of their Treasury of British Comics line. It's a 128 page softback on matt paper that has a very nice feel to it and reproduces the art well. 

Invasion 1984 is written by John Wagner and Alan Grant under their R.Clark pseudonym, and illustrated by Eric Bradbury. The story is old school entertainment about an alien invasion and humans fighting back against impossible odds. It may appear unsophisticated to readers more used to ponderous "talking heads" strips but for anyone who wants a bloody good yarn that's fast-paced and full of action, this is perfect. 

I was surprised at the amount of devastation the aliens incur on humanity. At the time, IPC were still reeling from the fuss about how violent Action was, and although there's no gore there is death and destruction on a grand scale. The invaders gun down innocent civilians with such regularity it's impossible to keep a body count. The humans are no better; annihilating Glasgow in a nuclear blast in a futile attempt to destroy an alien ship. 

Eric Bradbury was a veteran artist at this stage and his pages have a suitably grim and gritty feel to the action and a perfect balance of black and white. He really was one of the greatest adventure strip artists of the 20th Century. John Wagner and Alan Grant were also highly experienced by this point and although the story might not be in the same league as most of their 2000AD work it's still an excellently crafted tale. 

If you're looking for a good entertaining alien invasion story with some great art, Invasion 1984! is for you. On sale in bookshops now, or directly from the publisher here:


pete doree said...

Never heard of it but it looks great!

Idstone said...

This was one of the strips we'd had on a "wishlist" for a future Hibernia reprint when Egmont still held this section of the IPC archives, so it's brilliant to see Rebellion getting it back into print. Always loved the creature design on this, and it would have been from around the same time Bradbury was working on Doomlord over in Eagle, and The Dracula File in Scream! - an impressive workload, and I don't think the quality ever suffered because of it.

Lew Stringer said...

Eric Bradbury always seemed very prolific so he could handle quite a few pages every week. Marvellous artist.

Big D said...

Huh. I don't remember this one at all. Maybe I'd moved on to 2000AD by that point. It does look good though.

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